7 Reasons Why Are Dado Blades Considered Unsafe

Published on: June 17, 2022
Written by David Rowan / Fact-checked by Eric Devin

Have you heard of the Dado blade? It’s a controversial tool in the realm of the wood workman. In some countries, the usage of Dado Blade is fully okay. While, in some other countries, the usage of Dado blades is fully banned. That’s why many people ask, “Are dado blades dangerous?”. 

If you are new to the world of quality, you might also be thinking about what a Dado blade is and why it is illegal (or considered dangerous). Well, to quench your thirst for knowledge, we are here for you.

are dado blades dangerous

In this particular article, we have discussed if the Dado blade is indeed unsafe to use or not. Furthermore, we have examined the specific reasons for the controversy regarding Dado blades in further depth.

Therefore, let’s not waste any more moments and start reading through this discussion till the end.

Is It Safe to Use Dado Blades [7 Reasons Not to Try Dado Blades]?

To be specific, Dado blades are indeed a very dangerous tool. But, the problem does not arise because of the construction of the blade itself. It’s just that not many people know how to use and take advantage of a Dado blade. As a result, many accidents have been recorded to occur.

However, since the Dado blade is not a tool that has a good name on it, there must be a reason why countries consider it to be unsafe, right? There are numerous reasons why a Dado blade can be considered very dangerous. For your convenience, we have broken them down into 7 subsections below:

1. The Nature of Injury

The main reason for considering the Dado blades dangerous or declaring them illegal (as some countries have done) is because the injury caused by this type of blade is way too severe. And, in 98% of all cases, there is no way to repair the physical damage caused by Dado blades.

2. Lack of Safety Guard

In other types of blades, the manufacturer can provide a safety guard that prevents accidental throw-off of the circular blade. But, because Dado blades are thicker in construction, there is no way to provide a functional safety guard to protect the user from accidental throw-offs. Read more: How to Choose Tile Saw Blades

3. Lack of Effective Break

A major criterion for using a blade in proper safety is an effective braking system. But, in the case of Dado blades, there is no effective braking system to stop the blade immediately. It’s because the blade is too heavy. Consequently, it has a very high momentum. So, stopping it instantly is not an easy feat.

4. Risk of Getting Loose

In other types of saws, the dedicated nut that fastens the blade to the arbor of the motor is usually threaded in the opposite direction of the threading of the blades. So, when the blades are rotating, the fastening nut does not get loosened up. 

But, in the case of Dado blades, the opposite occurs(the fastening nut gets loosened up). And as a result, the risk of accidental throw-offs arises.

5. Requires Frequent Maintenance

Unlike other types of blades, Dado blades require very frequent maintenance. Therefore, the Dado blades give way to many potential dangers for those who are not careful to provide proper maintenance.

6. No Standardized Thickness Limit

An innate characteristic of Dado blades is that their thickness can be customized (increased or decreased) according to the user’s choice. So, there’s no standardized thickness limit for a Dado blade, which is a major concern against safety.

7. Creates Too Much Dust

Unlike other types of saws, the Dado blade saws create too many loose wood particles in the time of cutting through wood. As a result, using this blade in wood quality is a major inconvenience.

What are the Reasons for the Dado Blades Being Illegal?

The major reason is safety concerns. Many potential dangers can arise by driving the Dado blades. Why? The reason lies in the blade’s working mechanism.

To use Dado blades, you will need to uninstall the riving knife (the riving knife protects the user from unforeseen accidents). And, using a blade without a riving knife guard is highly dangerous. Thus, the Dado blades are considered illegal.

Also, the Dado blades lack an immediate braking system. To be more specific, there are dedicated breaking switches that can stop the blade within 10 seconds in other types of saw blades. And these braking systems can efficiently stop the blades because those blades are not too heavy.

However, in the case of Dado blades, the blade is a combination of many Dado sets. As a result, it is extensively heavy. Consequently, due to the massive momentum created when the heavy Dado sets rotate, it is practically impossible to stop the blade within 10 seconds. And that’s why many countries make the Dado blades illegal.

Moreover, whereas other types of blades are used to make a through cut into wood pieces, Dado blades are used to make broad groves along the surface of the wood. As a result, Dado blades cannot create clean cuts, giving excessive wood dust generation.

Why are Dado Blades Illegal in Europe?

The usage of Dado blades is illegal in Denmark, the UK, and other European Union countries. It’s because of the potential danger that using a Dado blade Can give rise to.

As we have discussed above, there are major safety flaws in the usage of Dado blades. And, to properly use Dado blades, one would have to be a woodworking expert. For a beginner in woodcraft, using a Dado blade is highly risky. Therefore, many European countries have illegalized the usage of Dado blades for their citizens.

Are Dado Sets Banned Everywhere?

Yes, the usage of Dado sets is banned in many countries in Europe. But, in the USA, using Dado blades is fully legal. However, the government has reduced the distribution of Dado sets.

That means, if you live in North America, Dado blades are not illicit for you. However, if you live in a European country, you can get charged for using Dado blades in a commercial workspace.


There’s no point in using a potentially dangerous tool, wouldn’t you agree? Well, this is the notion of the governments of many countries as well. And this is the main reason why many people consider Dado blades unsafe and dangerous.

Therefore, we recommend that you not use Dado blades if you are not an expert in professional wood workmanship. Moreover, we encourage you to look for other alternatives to Dado sets. Farewell!!

Featured image credit: Amazon.com

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About This Writer

david rowan author

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

Hello, I am David Rowan. I am a professional contractor with 10 years of experience in home building, different tools used, construction, home remodeling, and other home improvement work. I have already built many custom homes and continued to do several woodworking projects along with how to deal with all categories of tools.

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